As one of the lead aero-body designers and drivers for both MaizeBlaze and M-Pulse, Jason Kramb has raced in two national races and two world races. Within that time he has experienced a few thousand miles of testing time, enabling him to say he is one of the few individuals who has driven on the three major proving grounds (GM in Milford, Ford in Dearborn and Romeo, and Chrysler in Chelsea) in a solar car.
After solar car, Jason worked for a small jet engine manufacturer in Michigan then moved on to work for Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA.
“Scaled is a company that works exactly like the Solar Car Team always did. Same materials, same way of making parts, same approach to design, same hands-on building, same everything.”
There he worked on a number of cool projects such as the flight of SpaceShipOne, becoming a part of the first privately funded team to put a man into space. Now, SpaceShipOne hangs proudly in the National Air and Space Museum, embodying Jason’s signature.
Afterwards, Jason’s design skills were put to the test as he was the aerodynamicist for WhiteKnightTwo, the mothership for SpaceShipTwo.
“On the first flight of WhiteKnightTwo, I have to admit it was pretty cool to see something you designed and did the analysis on take off right in front of you, using technology and tools that aren’t all that much more technologically advanced or complex than the tools I used when designing MaizeBlaze. Solar Car truly is working with the leading edge of technology and it’s the best thing I ever did for my career. As I’ve told people many times, Solar Car was the hardest thing I ever did, but I’ll probably spend the rest of my life looking for a job just like it.”
Currently, Jason works with the Corvette Racing Team, developing the aerodynamics and wind tunnel testing the race cars that are competing all over the world against the best cars the rest of world can bring. “Somehow, racing gets stuck in your blood – whether it’s 500hp Corvettes, or 2hp Solar Cars.”
As far as memories are concerned, Jason reminisces over the nights he spent sleeping on top of the semi-trailer in the middle of the Outback in areas where there wasn’t any form of civilization for 100 miles in any direction. “Amazing nights with the breeze blowing to keep us cool and an endless sky of stars above us. It was a good time.”
“But, nothing beats the crashing of M-Pulse just 17 days before the start of ASC 2001, then pulling into the finish as national champions. We were devastated by the crash, but we knew we could rebuild the car and have it better than it was before it crashed. It was better, and nothing could beat us after that. We were determined to make it happen, no matter what got in our way.”
As far at the new team is concerned, “I wish them the best of luck. I’ve been impressed with everything and they’re doing a great job at keeping the Michigan Solar Car tradition going. Onward to Australia!”